The start of a new year is a great chance to review where you currently are, what you’ve achieved, what you’re grateful for and what you want to strive for in the next 12 months. However, you don’t need to wait for January to come around to start making changes or taking steps towards your goals.
One thing that helps to fire up the ‘go get ‘em’ attitude in January is the promise of a ‘fresh slate’ and anticipation of the upcoming year. With all this potential laid out ahead of you, it’s easy to have the positive, motivated mindset to take action and implement changes in your life.
It’s important to remember you can make changes, however big or small, at any time of year. Whether you’re a few weeks into the new year or approaching December, you can give yourself permission to change anything that isn’t serving you or that could better fit your goals.
However, if you struggle to hold onto that ‘New Year’ kick or just want to hold onto your enthusiasm to implement positive changes, here’s a few things you can do to help create that ‘fresh start’ feeling whenever you want or need it!
CHANGE YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
I started changing my morning routine at the beginning of January and have been loving the impact it’s had on my entire day. After reading The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8am by Hal Elrod, I have implemented small changes that have made such a different to my mindset, productivity and energy levels all day.
Now, I wouldn’t typically pick up a book like ‘The Miracle Morning’ because I prefer to read more ‘general’ self help books but something about the first few pages hooked me in – and for only 99p, I thought it was worth a go.
Whether you currently enjoy mornings or not, changing up your routine can be a simple but effective way to carve out some quite time for yourself to work on your mind, body and goals.
By adding just an extra hour to my day, I have been able to exercise daily, start meditating, begin writing, keep my space clean and get ready in a calm atmosphere. Just thinking about the big impact these small changes have had makes me feel energised and enthused – and I’ve made a mental note to write a blog about the impact of changing your morning routine!
As I mentioned above, I have just started meditating in the morning as part of a routine to slow down my mind, stay focussed and take some quite time to breathe.
There are plenty of helpful apps out there (I’m currently trying out Simple Habit) to help ease you into meditation. Just as you wouldn’t go from never exercising to suddenly doing an hour of HIIT exercises, meditation is a skill and practice that you have to build up. Think of your brain as a muscle that you are training; meditation is the exercise.
Just 5 or 10 minutes at the beginning or end of your day can help you to feel much calmer and create the mental space you need to focus on your goals and what is will make you happy.
READ NEW BOOKS
If you’re feeling uninspired or lethargic about your day-to-day life or the goals you have set yourself, turn to other people and their stories for a boost in inspiration.
Getting another person’s perspective and learning new things is an easy way to create the atmosphere of growth which is so important for staying motivated.
Try and find some books related to what you’re trying to change or achieve, or if you’re feeling overwhelmed, why not take a break and read about something you’ve never thought about before. When I feel like I need a boost, I read ‘behind the scenes’ books from Doctors as it’s incredible to learn about experiences that are completely alien to me. If I want to stay focussed on my long term goals, I always turn to The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
I’ll start by saying: there is an exercise out there that you’ll enjoy – I promise!
Exercise has so, SO many benefits for you, both physically and mentally. If you’re struggling to get over the mental block of starting to exercise, you can begin with small steps (literally). Try going for a walk or a jog every other day. Taking time to move your body and get your blood pumping will help to boost your energy levels.
If you’re feeling bored by exercise, try something new! This will also help boost that ‘new’ feeling as you embrace a change of scenery or experience. Could you try a new class at your gym? Would you enjoy moving your exercise outside? Could you join a group with a friend?
I personally love using Fitness Blender. It’s free and easy to choose whatever type of workout you want from legs and core to cardio and yoga.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s something you enjoy and that you feel good after doing. The boost in endorphins will help you feel productive and encourage you to tackle the other daily goals you have set.
TRY A NEW ACTIVITY
If you are feeling unenthusiastic or static in your day to day life, it can be a struggle to find the energy to even think about making changes or achieving your goals.
Take yourself outside of your comfort zone, or try something you have always wanted to do. This could be joining a new group, trying cross-stitching, visiting a new town, or going to the cinema on your own. You might find that you have a great new hobby – and even if that doesn’t happen, you’ll show yourself that you have the focus and energy to tackle something new!
LISTEN TO A NEW PODCAST
Something I love to do that keeps me focussed on my goals is to listen to podcasts of successful, passionate and engaging people. Whatever your interests or goals, you’re likely to find someone who’s talking about that online!
Podcasts are a great way to hear someone speak enthusiastically about something, share information on a topic you may never have explored, help remind you of your own passion and goals, and hear new perspectives on things.
One of my personal favourites is Self-Helpless with Delanie Fischer, Kelsey Cook and Taylor Tomlinson.
WRITE IT IN YOUR CALENDAR
If you need to a ‘start date’ in your mind to help trick yourself into that ‘fresh start’ feeling, pick a day (a Sunday or Monday might be best) to start implementing a few changes so you can measure how you’re feeling as each day goes by and review what is and isn’t working for you.
You could even consider creating a new pattern or goal for each week ahead to keep you focussed and enthusiastic about the ‘new’ thing you’re trying to achieve.
WHAT WORKS FOR YOU?
Staying motivated is all about finding what works for you, but hopefully some of these tips will help to kick start your attitude and encourage you to keep going!
I’m committed to keeping my positive attitude towards growth and my goals this year so please feel free to share any of your tips for staying ‘fresh’ and focussed this year!